At an early age, I knew I had a talent for sketching and drawing. It was at the end of 2005, that I was inspired by my father, Scats Esterhuyse who is a master landscape artist in South Africa.
My first painting's subject matter was a mother leopard and her baby cub sitting in a field of grass. I have a serious love of nature and as a consequence, my subject choice was a wildlife theme.
I sketched the image onto the canvas, which took me about 3 days. Finally, I was ready to put paint on canvas for the first time. I had no idea how I was going to start. My dad came with an empty pallet and a selection of colours that he used and a crash course in mixing them. He started with the left eye of the mother leopard. I sat and watched intently as he mixed his colours and applied each brushstroke. He completed the eye and passed the pallet to me. It wasn’t long after that, a feeling of calmness and peace came over me as I mixed and applied the paint for the first time. It was a feeling of knowing, and as if I had done it my whole life. That was the day I believed I had found my gift. My calling. My passion.
Today, I look back and think of that life-changing day when my dad first came to me and encouraged me and gave me hope. I am extremely grateful to my family and for all their support, love, and encouragement.
I moved to London in 2006 and continued to paint in between working in hospitality and found success in doing numerous portrait commissions. But work took over and I found myself in management positions and choosing a safe route with guaranteed income. 5 years had passed and I was unhappy with my work and where I was in life. Something was missing.
2020, the year the world remember for centuries to come. COVID 19. The world was in lockdown. In this time of crisis and panic, I picked up the brush again and started to paint. It was then I realized how much I had missed my calling and my passion and once again found restoration and complete fulfillment in myself and life again. In the last 6 months, the work I have started to produce has taken on new levels of maturity and growth and have already completed a number of commissions and it is only the beginning. I have found my place and will use my God-given gift to the best of my ability from here on in.